In Part 1 of the series, “Starting a Mine in B.C.”, We covered procedures for staking a claim. If you missed out on that article, a link is added at the bottom for your reference.
You can’t just acquire a piece of claim and do nothing on it as it will just expire. Once a claim is acquired, the government of B.C requires you to spend a certain amount of money that will contribute to its value by performing either physical or technical work. Results and reports from this work are added to the MINFILE mineral inventory database. You can also access these assessment reports from the ARIS (Assessment Report Indexing System). This database contains all the assessment reports in a region. These reports can be used to understand the geological potential of a location.
To prevent your claim from expiring, claim owners must perform exploration work for contributing to the value of their claim. If they are unable to perform this, but still wish to keep their claim, “Cash-in-lieu of work” option can opt. Failure to maintain claim results in automatic forfeiture at midnight of the expiry date without any notice.
For a mineral claim, you are liable to spend $5.00 per hectare during each of the first and second anniversary years, $10.00 per hectare for each of the third and fourth anniversary years, $15.00 per hectare for each of the fifth and sixth anniversary years and $20.00 per hectare for subsequent anniversary years.
For the development and exploration of a placer claim, the owner needs to spend a flat rate of $20.00 per hectare.
Cash-In-Lieu of Work
The fee for Cash-in-Lieu option increases subsequently every year for a mineral claim. In this way, the owner needs to pay $10.00 per hectare during each of the first and second anniversary years, $20.00 per hectare for each of the third and fourth anniversary years, $30 per hectare for each of the fifth and sixth anniversary years and $40.00 per hectare for subsequent anniversary years.
The placer claim owner needs to pay a flat fee of $40 per hectare to maintain their placer claims if they choose to opt for cash in lieu of work option.
When exploration and development work or a payment instead of work is registered, you may advance the claim forward to any new date. With a payment, instead of work the minimum requirement is 6 months, and the new date cannot exceed one year from the current expiry date.
Exploration and Development Work
Here is a list of items that can be classified under as “Physical exploration and development”
- Trenching, open cuts, adits, pits, shafts and other underground activity for the purposes of collecting samples or other geological or technical information;
- Reclamation related to exploration and development activities;
- Ground control surveys, line cutting and grids; and
- Precision survey techniques such as global positioning or surveys conducted by a practicing land surveyor.
Technical Exploration and Development
Here is a list of items that can be classified under as “Technical exploration and development”
- Archaeological impact assessments;
- Geological surveys and studies;
- Mineral resource or ore reserve calculations and related work;
- Geophysical surveys;
- Geochemical surveys;
- Drilling, including drilling for the purposes of collecting samples, core logging or other geological or technical information;
- Analysis of mineral or rock samples including a bulk sample to assess characteristics pertinent to the assessment of the mineral resource, including acid base accounting, metallurgical, mineralogical, beneficiation and petrological studies;
- Prospecting and exploring;
- Environmental baseline studies;
- Ground control surveys, line cutting and grids;
- Construction and maintenance of roads, trails, helicopter landing sites, drill sites and drill core storage;
- Preparation and geological interpretation of air photo, satellite or other remotely sensed images;
- Preparation of orthophoto and topological surveys; and
- Compilations of previous exploration and development studies and reports if those compilations lead to new exploration and development.
Registration of Work
Both physical and technical work performed is submitted through Mineral Titles Online “MTO”. The reports can be sent directly to MTO or submitted via email.
Physical work reports must be submitted within 30 days of registering the work, and technical reports within 90 days of registration of the work.
All claims are automatically forfeit at midnight on the anniversary of the expiry date. It is the responsibility of every recorded holder to maintain their claims. To keep claims in good standing, exploration and development work or payment instead of exploration and development must be registered and payment received by MTO. The ground covered by the forfeited claim will not be available until 10am (Pacific Standard Time) of the following day.
As part of the tax reform, the government of B.C is offering Mining Exploration Tax Credit (“METC”) for conducting grassroots mineral exploration. Companies can hire qualified geologists and engineers for developing technical reports that are required to determine the existence, location, extent or quality of a mineral resource in B.C.